TORONTO - New-vehicle sales in Canada dipped just 0.4 percent in May, bouncing back to an annualized rate of 1.72 million from 1.61 million in the first four months of the year.
Through May, sales are off 4.7 percent from a year earlier, with the Big 3 - down 10.7 percent - bearing the brunt of the damage.
In contrast, Korean makes are up 5.6 percent through May; the Japanese, 5.2 percent; and the Europeans, 1.3 percent.
Car sales are down 4.4 percent this year, while truck sales are off 5.1 percent.
Ford got the spring selling season off to a strong start with May sales up 5.3 percent on a 3.4 percent rise in car sales and a 6.3 percent increase in truck sales. But sales for the first five months are still off 3.5 percent.
General Motors' May sales were down 7.2 percent, with cars off 8.0 percent and trucks down 6.2 percent. Sales through May are down 13.4 percent.
Chrysler's sales slipped 6.7 percent, with cars off 14.1 percent and trucks off 3.3 percent. So far in 2003, Chrysler is off 12.6 percent.
Among imports, Infiniti's sales soared 32.5 percent in May to mark the 14th straight month of gains. Lexus, up 22.7 percent, set a monthly sales record.
Porsche was up 31.3 percent, followed by Audi with a 20.2 percent gain. BMW's sales rose 12.7 percent and Volvo's were up 12.3 percent.